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Friday, February 08, 2013

Kevin Garnett is the 20th Member of the 25,000 Point Club

Kevin Garnett scored 15 points in the Boston Celtics' 116-95 win over the L.A. Lakers on Thursday night and he became just the 20th member of pro basketball's 25,000 point club. Here is the complete 25,000 point club roster:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
Karl Malone 36,928
Michael Jordan 32,292
Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
Kobe Bryant 30,861
Julius Erving 30,026
Moses Malone 29,580
Shaquille O'Neal 28,596
Dan Issel 27,482
Elvin Hayes 27,313
Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946
Oscar Robertson 26,710
Dominique Wilkins 26,668
George Gervin 26,595
John Havlicek 26,395
Alex English 25,613
Rick Barry 25,279
Reggie Miller 25,279
Jerry West 25,192
Kevin Garnett 25,009

Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Dan Issel, George Gervin and Rick Barry spent part of their careers in the ABA and Malone is the only member of that quintet who scored at least 25,000 points in the NBA, so the NBA and most mainstream media outlets pretend that Erving, Issel, Gervin and Barry are not in fact members of the 25,000 point club; thus, most reports about Garnett's accomplishment erroneously state that he is the 16th member of the 25,000 point club.

Erving and Garnett are the only members of the 25,000 point club who each amassed at least 10,000 rebounds, 5000 assists, 1500 steals and 1500 blocked shots. Steals and blocked shots were not recorded during Erving's rookie season, so Erving's "official" totals of 2272 steals (the ABA/NBA career record when he retired in 1987 and still good enough for seventh place now) and 1941 blocked shots (sixth on the ABA/NBA career list when he retired and 22nd now, just behind Garnett) most likely shortchange him by about 150 in each category. Erving and Garnett displayed a remarkable combination of versatility and longevity to post those all-around numbers while also scoring so prolifically. Erving averaged at least 20 ppg in each of his first 14 seasons before scoring 18.1 ppg and 16.8 ppg in his final two campaigns; Garnett has not been a big-time scorer since he joined the Boston Celtics in 2007-08, so it is easy to forget that he averaged at least 20 ppg and at least 10 rpg for nine straight seasons (1999-2007). Erving averaged 24.2 ppg in his 16 season career with a high average of 31.9 ppg in his second season, while Garnett has averaged 19.2 ppg so far in his 18 season career with a high average of 24.2 ppg in his ninth season.

Further Reading:

Julius Erving Ignored as Kobe Bryant Joins Exclusive 25,000/5000/5000 Club

Bryant Joins Erving and Jordan in Elite 30,000 Point Club

ABA Numbers Ignored as Lebron James Becomes Youngest Member of 20,000 Point Club

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posted by David Friedman @ 6:59 AM



At Friday, February 08, 2013 4:50:00 PM, Anonymous Nikola Simic said...

Gilmore, who edged out Erving for Rookie of the Year honors in 1971-72, received credit for 422 blocks during that season according to Basketball-Reference. I didn't do much ABA research yet (but plan to), so were blocks recorded for experimental purposes during 1971-72, before being recognized as an official stat during the 1972-73 season?

At Saturday, February 09, 2013 1:39:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I think that "experimental" is a good way to put it. If I am not mistaken, the Kentucky Colonels independently tracked Gilmore's blocked shots during his rookie season. I am not aware of any other blocked shot--or steal--statistics from the 1971-72 season. The ABA officially began tracking blocked shots and steals in 1972-73 and then the NBA followed suit in 1973-74.

At Saturday, February 09, 2013 2:56:00 AM, Anonymous Nikola Simic said...


I know the NBA "experimented" during the 1972-73 season (and possibly earlier). It was reported that Chamberlain led the league with 446 blocks in 82 games (5.44 bpg).

At Saturday, February 09, 2013 9:40:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


What is your source regarding the NBA's pre-1973-74 "experiments"? The only such "experiments" that I know about were done by the 76ers' Harvey Pollack, who charted Wilt's blocked shots for a handful of games at different times during the late '60s, as documented in Pollack's various statistical yearbooks.

At Sunday, February 10, 2013 8:10:00 PM, Anonymous Abacus Reveals said...

Nikola and Mr. Friedman,

Sports Illustrated sort of recognizes that Wilt had a quadruple double (including 12 blocks) in Game 1 of the 1967 Eastern Division Finals.
No fanfare, just a mention in the weekly Round-up (and only after acknowledging Hal Greer's 39 points). Quite a performance!

Since that game was in Philadelphia, I too suspect the hand of Mr. Pollack.

Mr. F, have you written on the hows and whys of the introduction/recognition of such stats as blocks, turnovers and offensive rebounds?

Abacus Reveals (jonessportsworld.com)

At Monday, February 11, 2013 3:49:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Abacus Reveals:

I strongly suspect that the blocked shot number cited in that SI article is courtesy of Harvey Pollack, who periodically charted Wilt's blocks to counter the notion that Russell is the greatest shotblocker ever.

I have written various articles that touch on how/when steals, blocked shots and turnovers became "official" stats and those articles can be found in the right hand sidebar of 20 Second Timeout's main page. Long story short, all of those stats were first "officially" tabulated in the ABA and then the NBA followed suit, though the NBA did not track turnovers (which the ABA called "errors") until 1977-78, the second season after the ABA-NBA merger. Pollack and perhaps a few other dedicated stat guys provided some "unofficial" blocked shot and/or steal numbers for certain players.


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